Dear Rachel, Daddy Was There

My dear daughter,

You are still in your mama’s womb, but I’m writing this letter to you so you can know how it was like.

What happened in the past few days will probably be remembered by an entire generation. It is probably one of the most significant events in our history since Merdeka Day. But I could be over euphoric at this moment. Some will disagree with me.

You see, daddy was there on the 12th General Elections when the people voted for change.

I woke up early on polling day because I wanted to vote early while the weather was still cool. The air felt different. I felt different. It’s like I had this mission to accomplish.

Even Sushi my hyper-active Shih Tzu (do you remember Sushi?) was a good boy on that day. He ate his food without any fuss and did his business on the newspapers (I have to say that’s all they’re good for… that and wrapping vegetables or killing cockroaches).

Daddy drove to the polling station near yeh yeh (grandpa’s) house, parked my car and walked towards the school. I passed by a tent manned by the opposition from PAS and KeAdilan, and they immediately surrounded me.

They said “sir, vote for us, vote for us”. One young chap told me in Malay, “You ingat logo ini,” while pointing to their party logos. They invited me to their tent to check my voting registration, but I thanked them and walked on.

I passed by the Barisan tent and they were still having breakfast.

Inside the polling centre, I met a nice man who found my polling stream for me. I went to the proper queue and waited. Polling stream 4 had the longest line. Everyone was young, and there were people from every race. Everyone looked very serious.

Everyone came out of the voting room looking very satisfied. I guess they felt that they have voiced their opinion.

The line was moving slowly but steadily, until 20 minutes later when somebody put the ballots into the wrong boxes. They halted the line for another 30 minutes while trying to think about what to do.

When it came to my turn, I handed my IC to the polling agent, and he read my name aloud. The next person passed me my ballot papers, and I went to the voting booth. I was surprised by two things:

  1. The ballots had serial numbers.
  2. The vote was marked using a pencil.

I watched the polling agent to make sure he didn’t write any serial number next to my name on his list, and then I made sure I marked my X really hard and dark on the paper.

I put the ballots in the respective boxes in a slam dunk motion, and walked out feeling that I have done something very special. There’s no words to describe the feeling of value, empowerment and freedom when you vote.

Later that night, the results that were reported surprised everybody.

This event has changed daddy in many ways. For the first time, I saw that there was hope for Malaysia. I saw that I was not alone in my frustration and anger. I saw that race did not matter any more.

Last Merdeka day, our church was praying for healing between the races. We were praying for God to cleanse the land from the innocent blood that had been shed on May 13.

The walls that have been built up to divide are being torn down. I felt a surge of renewed patriotism for Malaysia.

Things are really uncertain as I end this letter. What is going to happen in the next few years?

Only time will tell.

Photo: Siew Lian

11 thoughts on “Dear Rachel, Daddy Was There”

  1. Now that you mention it, yaloh… how come the ballot slips were marked with pencil wan? Hmm… a bit fishy… but all was good in the end anyways, so I won’t complain. πŸ˜‰

    Adino: Those who voted before tell me that this is the standard practice.

  2. Yeah, I had the same question. I suppose it is to help UMNO win some by the eraser (in addition to phantom voters, dead man walking voters, postal votes)

    Adino: I actually brought a pen with me. I didn’t dare to ask if I was allowed to use my pen. I didn’t want to risk spoiling my vote.

  3. i am wondering abt the one that at first lost by 140 votes…but then after re-count he won..but i forgotten the number of votes he won with..hhmmppphhh~~

    Adino: Everyone is wondering, but until there is evidence to prove otherwise, I guess we must accept the decision. His opponent Chegubard is challenging the results though. Let’s wait and see how the courts decide before commenting.

  4. Hope for the best for Malaysia.

    (By the way, not only “race doesn’t matter”, ‘race’ does NOT exist, because this kind of ideology was only created 400 years ago – and that is what I learned from my recent classes – remember that)

    Adino: Ooh, I’m interested to learn more about the history of this ideology. Any references for me to look up?

  5. Sometimes, some of us due to some reason mark the wrong boxes
    And we intend to erase it

    It is not done purely as a conspiracy

    Adino: I see. I just hope it’s not abused, thats all.

  6. Yeah… I’ve read about May 13th and met one person involved in that D-Day. But are we really hoping for change…? Or are we hoping for what ‘change’ might being?

    Good luck for the familial future, little Rachel. πŸ™‚

    Adino: I’m hoping for both… that there will be a positive change.

  7. No the concept of races predates that. It is something that will never be totally resolved. It is the fact that were different colors that makes life beautiful. Each depicting something unique of the divine.

    We can erase the stigma and biasness and so on but we cannot ever erase the fact of who we are and what race we are from. To erase that will only destroy who God made us.

    That is my personal belief.

    I voted..the change was not done by us…I am praying God will take control and use this to work something for the country I love.

    Adino: I believe that we are watching something very special happening, and this is all part of God’s plan.

  8. And Rachel…that is why daddy stayed put in Malaysia and did not migrate elsewhere πŸ˜€

    Adino: It’s still too early to confirm or deny that

    πŸ™‚

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